President Barack Obama is expected to announce he’s naming United Nations Ambassador Susan Rice as his new national security adviser.
Second-term teams are often about bringing in longtime friends, allies and appointees that Presidents want, rather than big names people expect them to have. Rice, who early in 2007 betrayed her Clinton roots to endorse Obama, is one such friend.
Rice was originally Obama’s top pick to succeed Hillary Clinton at State, a job that eventually went to John Kerry. Obama felt Rice, with whom he often dines, would know his mind without him having to tell her what to do. But Republicans objected to Rice because five days after the Benghazi attack in September she went on the Sunday shows blaming outrage over American-made video ridiculing the Prophet Mohammed for the attack, rather than terrorists.
Republicans say she was politicizing the incident, trying to protect Obama’s claim that he’d rooted out al Qaeda. Democrats say she was speaking from talking points approved by the Central Intelligence Agency. Rice tried and failed to court Republican senators, all but dooming her nomination. The position of national security adviser does not require Senate confirmation.
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